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K9 Truman begins service in Lake Mills

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LAKE MILLS (WKOW) -- Lake Mills has a new member on its police force. After a year-long effort, the department is celebrating a months worth of work out of their K9 officer.

Chief Mick Selck said bringing a dog into their ranks was one of his goals when he was hired last year.

"I wanted to make a strong presence in the drug problem that we're having," he said.

In just a month, Selck said his impact has been remarkable.

"If I remember correctly there were three arresting in the first four shifts," he said.

Since mid-October, Selck said handler TJ Adams has deployed the K9 17 times.

"We're just constantly, every day we're training with him," Adams said. "Whether it be narcotics, tracking, building searches whatever it is."

Still, he said that's not all the pup can do.

"He knows when it's time to work and he knows when it's time to lie down," Adams said.

Adams and the chief said the chose this specific dog because he was good at "the switch." He could be training and biting his targets one minute and be wagging his tail and letting children pet him the next minute.

Adams said it's an important quality because Lake Mills needs a K9 that's more than just a drug deterrent.

"It's not just our dog, or the police department dog, or my dog," he said. "It's the community's dog."

The Lake Mills community raised the money to buy and support him so Adams said they want the community to get to know and enjoy the K9. Adams said he'll be at many police public appearances and the community will have a meet and greet with him in January.

Community engagement is also the reason for the K9's name, Truman.

"It was a few weeks after Chris had passed and TJ, Officer Adams came to me and made the suggestion," Selck said.

Captain Chris Truman served on the Lake Mills Fire Department until his death last year. He was hit and killed on the Beltline near Monona after he stopped to help a driver in need.

"I checked with the people close to the situation, the fire chief, obviously his girlfriend," Selck said. "Everyone felt that it was a great honor and I was excited to move forward."

Now K9 Officer Truman is ready to serve the same community his namesake served.

"He really looks forward to going to work," Adams said.

Come Tuesday night, he'll make a big step in knowing his community. He's meeting the Lake Mills Fire Department who served alongside Capt. Truman.

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Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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